Lease 101

How to get out of a car lease

lose the lease, not your shirt


Posted 9/12/2012

Traditionally getting out of a car lease refers to cancelling one’s lease contract early and following the procedures laid out in the original leasing agreement. In many cases getting out of a lease prior to the end of term meant that the one who originally leased the vehicle would be responsible for several potentially significant expenses such as the following:

1. The outstanding lease payments remaining
2. Early lease termination fees or penalties
3. Costs associated with wear and tear issues and/or over mileage charges

As a result terminating a lease early can be cost prohibitive due to outstanding payments and the potential for fees associated with doing so. The timing of doing so should also be considered because it is going to cost a lot more the earlier a lessee opts to get out primarily stemming from fewer payments already being made.

When one decides that getting out of their lease is their best option they it may also make sense to consider looking at selling the lease pending the timing and situation. When evaluating this option the lessee would need to figure the current buyout on their lease often with the assistance of a car dealership. In either case, the lease buyout number will ultimately come from the leasing company who wrote the lease which is the same company where the lessee sends their lease payments.

Akin to getting out of a lease early directly with the leasing company selling a lease outright can be an expensive option for the lessee, too. In part this is the result of many factors being involved to do so being similar. Furthermore, the market value of a vehicle must be evaluated which could help or hinder depending the actual vehicle in question and the present economic climate. If a particular car or truck is in high demand and short supply this may mean that the lessee can get out relatively pain free economically speaking. Nevertheless, sought after cars and trucks are not common and a purchaser would still need to be found.

The best way to get out of a car lease early is to utilize the lease transfer option that is permitted by a majority of leasing companies. Using this method a lessee transfers their lease to another individual who has been deemed credit worthy who takes over the lease from where the original lessee leaves off. This requires locating someone interested in taking over the lease which may be viewed as hard to do on the surface. However, many lease consumers find taking over a lease a compelling option for getting their next one.

Automotive consumers frequently find the shorter terms involved with assuming a lease to be an attractive component. When this is coupled together with the idea that many lease payments were subsidized through upfront cash and/or trade equity the option looks even better. Swapalease.com is an online marketplace where the sellers and buyers of leases meet to transfer. Swapalease.com is a great resource to learn more about transferring leases and the specific policies of various leasing company when doing so, too.